Kate Goes Shopping for Antiques – But Only Looks
updated 04/15/2013 AT 09:40 AM EDT
•originally published 04/15/2013 AT 08:20 AM EDT
On Saturday, Kate, 31, browsed the furniture and knick-knacks of the Mews Antique Emporium in Holt, Norfolk, where the other shoppers left her alone as she paced room after room of collectibles.
"She came in with a friend of hers but didn't buy anything," a source at the store tells PEOPLE.
Scouting for furnishings makes perfect sense, as Kate has a new London home to fill: Apartment 1a at Kensington Palace, where she and husband William will move come early fall.
The town of Holt is only some 25 miles from Anmer, where the royal couple are due to settle on a country home. She was also seen in the town of Fakenham, about 13 miles away.
As preparations continue in London, Palace sources confirm that Kate, who studied art history at university, has been sourcing pieces for the interior. She also has been known to pick up bargains at antiques fairs in Wales.
Insiders say the couple might even source some artworks from the historic Royal Collection, which permits pieces to be loaned to the various royal households, for display in both public and private areas.
"It's a huge project," says a royal source. "Both of them are involved in it – it's their future home. She has a continuing interest in craftsmanship – the kind of things that lend a person to decoration."